The Pomodoro Method– it sounds like another one of those Zen techniques. Calm your mind – breathe deeply – clear your mental space – and then let your object of work fill it.
But it is nowhere near those techniques. The Pomodoro Method is a completely unique method of boosting productivity. Developed by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Method is designed as a mechanism for time management. Let us first make the technique clear to you and then, break it down to see how it works:
With the Pomodoro Method, you break up your work in 25-minute segments and in between each of these segments, you take a forced break of 5 minutes. You force yourself to focus on the 25-minute work of your choice, complete it and then, force yourself to take a break when the 5-minute break timer comes up. In this structured method of time management, you try to complete your day’s work and then, call it a day.
Now, you might wonder: ‘Does it really work?’
To answer that question, let’s trace back and look at how we are taught to tackle the ‘passing time’. From a very young age, our schools set up deadlines for our projects and homework. Sometimes, these deadlines were quite tight and we had to ‘race against time’ to complete it. While it might apparently seem like an effective method of productivity – it is not something that always works well. If you are an entrepreneur or an employee, you are already aware as to how your work eats up your brain and, in the end, you feel burnt-out. The productivity of your day is always a declining graph.
Plus, it becomes especially difficult for people who are entrepreneurs. As a freelance entrepreneur, you have two works that you have to handle:
1) Your personal projects for growth
2) The clients’ projects
Quite naturally, you will focus on the clients’ projects since they are paying you for meeting deadlines and quality work. But the lack of time management will make you focus more heavily on clients. And your personal projects will remain pending at the end of the day. The other way out would be putting in unhealthy hours for the work, which will eventually result in miserable production.
Now, let’s look at it from a personal point of view – as humans, we need a sense of urgency to complete our work. When we see that we have an entire day to complete a work, we end up relaxing our mind. This is a partial way towards procrastination. We can’t always concentrate for elongated periods of time. Hence, after some time, we get distracted and scroll through Facebook or memes. While we have our laughs, time flows away. It is said that when we are distracted, it takes about ONE WHOLE MINUTE to gain our focus back. A study says that it could take an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to regain that amount of focus!
It’s clear that the race against time concept is not going to fly. The Pomodoro Method is a rebellion against this concept. With it, you are no longer engaged against time, but you are working with Time. It’s almost like an hourglass method where you use one hour to focus on nothing else but a planned work. But with the Pomodoro Technique, your entire workflow is structured. On top of that, the forced breaks will help you not get the after-a-work-day burnout. You have great apps, like the Pomodoro Timer on the phone, to help you out with it too.
At the Academy, we have really found a lot of positive results after using the Pomodoro Method to boost our productivity. We can sum up how it works in one line:
‘The Pomodoro is a perfect example of building in that urgency factor of being human when it comes to productivity.’
And we all know how important urgency is for all of us!